Match Report provided by the ECB Reporters Network.
Lightning (230-9) beat Sunrisers (160) by 70 runs
Captain Kathryn Bryce rescued Lightning with her second century of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy as they fought back to overcome winless Sunrisers by 70 runs at Chelmsford.
Bryce’s shrewd knock of 104 from 109 balls underpinned the visitors’ recovery from 129 for six to post 230 for nine – and that proved to be a winning total.
Sunrisers looked set to register a long-awaited maiden victory in the 50-over format after teenage opening pair Grace Scrivens and debutant Jodi Grewcock shared a partnership of 97 in reply.
But the dismissals of both batters in quick succession sparked a comprehensive collapse, with spinner Kirstie Gordon taking four for 31 as Lightning rolled their opponents for 160.
Put in to bat, Lightning looked comfortable at the outset, with Marie Kelly lifting Villiers over the top for a maximum in only the second over as she and Tammy Beaumont added a brisk 42.
But a brilliant piece of fielding by Gaya Gole broke the partnership as she chased a shot to mid-on and hurled the ball in on the turn for a direct hit that left Beaumont short at the non-striker’s end.
Sarah Bryce soon followed, bowled attempting an ugly heave at Kate Coppack, but her elder sister started well, cutting Sonali Patel for two fours and taking on the lead role in a third-wicket stand of 55 with Kelly.
Spin duo Scrivens (one for 26) and Jo Gardner (three for 45) applied the brakes during the middle overs, bowling unchanged in tandem as four Lightning wickets tumbled for just 19.
However, they were unable to dislodge the skipper, who batted prudently and advanced to her century, finding a staunch ally in Sophie Munro (34 from 41) as the pair added 74 at a run a ball.
Although both Munro and Bryce holed out late on, they had done enough to haul Lightning to a competitive total and a tight opening spell by Grace Ballinger put pressure on Sunrisers’ youthful openers when they launched their chase.
Despite a good deal of playing and missing at Ballinger – plus a thick edge from Scrivens that evaded Georgie Boyce at slip – she and Grewcock saw off the left-arm seamer and gradually settled into their rhythm.
Scrivens (54 from 65) completed her third half-century of the tournament – yet the top order disintegrated dramatically in the space of 12 deliveries, with four wickets falling for the addition of just one run, a wide.
Grewcock (35 from 64) spooned Bryce tamely to midwicket before Gordon had Scrivens caught at mid-off, Mady Villiers offered the spinner an easy return catch and Kelly came on to bowl stand-in captain Naomi Dattani for a duck.
Jess Olorenshaw made a valiant attempt to wrest back the initiative with an innings of 21 before she was yorked by Munro, but it was nowhere near enough to stem the tide and Lightning closed out the win with a full nine overs to spare.